Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 240
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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

Page 240
 
private buildings were increasing in size and costliness as rapidly as in numbers. It is difficult to say as much for their beauty, as a whole. Nevertheless, some of them are decidedly handsome,—notably some of the churches, such as Trinity, and above all St. Patrick’s, the cornerstone of which was laid in 1858. A really great piece of architectural engineering was the Croton aqueduct which was opened for use in 1842.
  The city had also done something for that higher national development, the lack of which makes material prosperity simply a source of national vulgarization. She did her share in helping forward the struggling schools of American painters and sculptors; and she did more than her share in founding American literature. Sydney Smith’s famous query, propounded in 1820, was quite justified by the facts. Nobody of the present day does read any American book which was then written, with two exceptions; and the witty Dean could scarcely be expected to have any knowledge of Irving’s first purely local work, while probably hardly a soul in England had so much as heard of that really wonderful volume, “The Federalist.” Both of these were New York books; and New York may fairly claim to have been the birthplace of American literature. Immediately after 1820 Washington Irving and Fenimore Cooper won world-wide fame; while Bryant was chief of a

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